Spring through fall; shoulder seasons less crowded
Nearest city: Nearest city:
Bozeman, Montana is a three-hour drive
Family-friendly backpacking with big view payoffs
To experience all that Yellowstone has to offer, a guided multi-day tour in the backcountry is the way to go. On this three-day guided adventure, you’ll hike just a few miles a day over mellow terrain — perfect for kids just gaining their hiking legs. Lakeside campsites, sleeping under the stars, wildlife sightings, an historic fire lookout and big views will make this an unforgettable adventure your family will reminisce about for years.
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3-Day Family-Friendly Observation Peak Trek
Camp along Cascade Lake and experience big views on this family-friendly backpacking trip in Yellowstone National Park. Mellow hikes and low-mileage, you will backpack ten miles over three days, camping in Yellowstone’s incredible backcountry. You’ll take in the epic views of Observation Peak and hike to Grebe Lake — a fantastic spot for wildlife viewing.
Things you need to know
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
Why should I go hiking?
Most people travel to Yellowstone and do the scenic loop drive, never venturing more than a few feet from their cars — but cars just don’t do Yellowstone justice. Why view this breathtaking landscape passively through a window, when you can walk on epic trails that take you past geysers, waterfalls, canyons, rivers, wildflower meadows, and mountain peaks? Hiking is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy Yellowstone’s striking terrain and experience the untouched nature around you.
What you get in this adventure:
- A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone hiking guide
- All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
- Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Bozeman, Montana to Yellowstone and back
- Entrance fees and national park permits
- Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
- Use of trekking poles
- Bear safety equipment including bear spray canisters and food-hanging gear
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
What can I expect from hiking with a guide?
Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Yellowstone’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your adventure to the objectives of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in Yellowstone — and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What do I need to bring?
A trip packet will be emailed to you after your booking with more details, but here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Spare clothes for layering
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
What’s the itinerary?
Please keep in mind, despite best efforts to stick to a set itinerary, plans can occasionally change based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.
Your itinerary may differ depending on your chosen multi-day hike, but here are some common itineraries for the trips listed:
Observation Peak Trek:
- Meet in Bozeman, Montana
- Drive 3 hours through Northern Yellowstone to the Cascade Creek Trailhead
- Hike 2.7 miles to Cascade Lake, make camp and eat lunch
- Optional day hike to Grebe Lake for wildlife viewing
- After a casual morning at camp and a hearty breakfast, being the ascent of Observation Peak.
- It’s 2.5 miles of steady uphill through open meadows and whitebark pine forest to reach the 1,300-foot summit. Spend time exploring the abandoned rustic fire lookout and take in 360-degree views of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
- Hike 2.5 miles back to camp
- Final morning at camp. Eat breakfast, pack up, and hike 2.7 miles back to civilization
How fit do I need to be?
This backpacking trip in Yellowstone will require you to carry 20-30 pounds of gear for around three miles per day over mellow terrain over three days. The hike to Observation Peak is a challenging, but doable 1,400-foot hike to the top. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be carrying a full backpack filled with water, your gear and other things you’ll need throughout the day, but if you consider yourself to be fit and healthy, this is an excellent family adventure option. If you’re looking for something more challenging, there are plenty of other guided backpacking trips in Yellowstone that will have you working up more of a sweat.
What is the minimum age requirement?
Anyone 5 and older can join private day-hikes in Yellowstone, with final approval on a case-by-case basis. If you’re travelling with children under 12, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about group sizes and pricing?
The standard group size on backpacking trips is six guests and one guide, with a maximum of ten guests and two guides. Pricing is per person, and costs decrease as your group grows, making it the perfect opportunity to hike with family or friends!
What about bad weather?
Yellowstone is prone to sudden temperature and weather changes, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a thunderstorm within minutes. Rest assured, your guide — all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMTs — will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball. In most cases, unfavorable weather won’t stop you from experiencing a guided hiking tour within the park, but if plans need to shift, your guide will amend your itinerary to find a trail more suitable to the day’s weather.
Do I need an insurance policy?
It’s highly recommended that you cover all your bases with travel and medical insurance. While hiking might seem like a low-risk outdoor activity, accidents can happen anywhere and we recommend insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for costly medical expenses. And as we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to have cancellation insurance that also covers lost baggage. It’s tried and tested and it works.
All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance will be clearly laid out by your guide prior to booking your adventure. Contact us if you’d like more information on a specific adventure.
Getting there and meeting location
Yellowstone multi-day hiking tours begin in Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman has an airport served by many major airlines. You can also fly into Billings and drive the 2.5 hours to Bozeman.